Native Hawaiian astronomer joins Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center

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Date: Thursday, January 16, 2003
Contact: George Jacob, (808) 933-3917

For Immediate Release


Dr. Paul Coleman

Dr. Paul Coleman, associate astronomer at the University of Hawai`i Institute for Astronomy (IfA), has joined the team of researchers of the Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center (MKAEC), announced Project Director George Jacob. Coleman will serve as a research planner for astronomy content and aid in the interpretive planning process.

The first and only Native Hawaiian astronomer at IfA, Coleman returned to Hawai`i last year after spending four years as a tenure track professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

"Since returning home, I have become more involved in Native Hawaiian issues and am trying to play catch-up with cultural concerns," Coleman said. "I am hoping to increase Native Hawaiian involvement in our first-rate astronomy effort here in Hawai'i, at all levels."

Coleman, a 1973 graduate of St. Louis High School in Honolulu, earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Notre Dame in 1977. He also attended the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a masters in physics in 1980 and a Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1985. He began his post-doctorate work in 1985 at Virginia Tech where he spent a year as a visiting assistant professor. Coleman also worked as a postdoctoral research associate while at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in the Netherlands from 1986 - 1994. He spent the next two years as an assistant professor at New Mexico Tech, and a year at Yale in the departments of astronomy and mathematics, before moving on to the University of Puerto Rico.

"I have a wide variety of research interests, and have observed with many telescopes around the world and in many wavebands," Coleman said. "I am primarily interested in the large-scale structure of the universe and also in active galactic nuclei across the electromagnetic spectrum."

Officials at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo and the IfA said they were pleased with the arrangement, which they view as a win-win situation.

"I am delighted that Dr. Coleman will be part of this $28 million world-class education center being planned for the UH Hilo campus," said Jacob. Dr. Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, director for the IfA and interim vice chancellor for academic research, echoed Jacob's sentiments. Kudtrizki said IfA is committed to support the development of the Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center in every way possible.

"Paul Coleman is the ideal choice to provide ideas and information related to the astronomy content and to build a bridge between the science and the cultural aspects of the Center," Kudritzki said.


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